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I have a 1958 Power-Kraft (Montgomery Ward) jigsaw that I got for my 11th birthday and I am not restoring for my grand-kids to use. Unlike what folks call a jigsaw today, which I call a saber-saw, my jigsaw is a stationary tool. It is in good shape but the grease in the gear case has turned to sludge and needs to be replaced. The manual says "The entire pulley mechanism is packed with special grease and lubricated-for-life." I guess they never thought it would live to be 60 years old!
Anyway, I am trying to figure out what to put in the crankshaft housing now that I have cleaned it out. I have replaced the seal on the shaft so it would hold either grease or oil but I am torn which to use. Suggestions welcomed!
 

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Anyway, I am trying to figure out what to put in the crankshaft housing now that I have cleaned it out. I have replaced the seal on the shaft so it would hold either grease or oil but I am torn which to use. Suggestions welcomed!
I would definitely use grease, not oil. This Lucas oil product has never let me down and is available at Home Depot and most auto stores for 5 bucks and can be used everywhere you need grease.
 

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That would be what is called a scrollsaw by the kids nowadays. I would say any quality grease will likely work.
 

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Oil is more efficient at transporting heat away from bearings but is much harder to hold in. Heavy equipment uses 10 weight oil in the diff housings for that reason. If your gear box never got hot then that isn't a concern.
 

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This machine is an older version and you have to be as old older than I am to remember seeing these machines. I would use a grease that will lubricate and stick to the moving parts and would dissipate heat quickly. I would use a silicone, synthetic type of grease. I do not know what the wear factor is here. This is another reason to use this type of grease. You can by TriFlow Synthetic Grease with Teflon: 3oz size at Wallmart stores. It is a good quality grease for parts that are fast-moving and can create heat. The White Lithium grease may be fine, but I stick pretty much with Silicone type grease for all of my power tools. I have some old drill presses and two hammer drills that I have never used anything else on.

Just my preference.
 

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I have a 1958 Power-Kraft (Montgomery Ward) jigsaw that I got for my 11th birthday and I am not restoring for my grand-kids to use. Unlike what folks call a jigsaw today, which I call a saber-saw, my jigsaw is a stationary tool. It is in good shape but the grease in the gear case has turned to sludge and needs to be replaced. The manual says "The entire pulley mechanism is packed with special grease and lubricated-for-life." I guess they never thought it would live to be 60 years old!
Anyway, I am trying to figure out what to put in the crankshaft housing now that I have cleaned it out. I have replaced the seal on the shaft so it would hold either grease or oil but I am torn which to use. Suggestions welcomed!
I would guess it was probably a white Lithium based grease originally. I would go with what the others have said lubricants have improved allot since the 50s the synthetics would be a great choice. There a many that will work well for that application. I am with you on the saber saw/ jigsaw names :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks everyone for the quick response. I think the jury says grease versus oil, and the synthetics seem to look like the way to go.
And yes, I not only remember these saws, I got this one new in 1958 and used it for many years until I stopped doing scroll type work.
Again, thanks for the information.
 

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Thanks everyone for the quick response. I think the jury says grease versus oil, and the synthetics seem to look like the way to go.
And yes, I not only remember these saws, I got this one new in 1958 and used it for many years until I stopped doing scroll type work.
Again, thanks for the information.
While synthetics may be fine in this application as it's not under a load as such, that's not universally true.

Try putting synthetic oils in a 1955 Chevy or any engine not designed for synthetics. Great way to screw-up.

I would still go with what worked when your saw was designed and that was old fashioned grease.

Best of luck.
 

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While synthetics may be fine in this application as it's not under a load as such, that's not universally true.

Try putting synthetic oils in a 1955 Chevy or any engine not designed for synthetics. Great way to screw-up.

I would still go with what worked when your saw was designed and that was old fashioned grease.

Best of luck.
I agree with what Steve says, and when it gets hot with regular old grease it will not smell like french fries either.
Years ago I used to get behind diesel buses that burned recycled cooking oil and they smelled like a drive in fast food joint.
Just saying,
Herb
 

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Salt 'n Vinegar

I agree with what Steve says, and when it gets hot with regular old grease it will not smell like french fries either.
Years ago I used to get behind diesel buses that burned recycled cooking oil and they smelled like a drive in fast food joint.
Just saying,
Herb
!...when was smelling like French fries ever a problem?! :surprise:
 

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The advantages of synthetic grease are really at the lower and upper extremes of load and temperature.

Regular ole grease needs some temperature to allow it to release the lubricating agent so it can get into the nooks and crannies. When regular grease gets cold it hardens and takes a bit to release the lubricating agent. Synthetic grease stays soft and will allow that release at much lower temperatures. It might make a difference in hand tools if you started working with a cold tool in very cold temperatures.

At the upper end, regular grease will break down at around 285deg...this is of no concern in a hand tool. Synthetic grease keeps right on going.

Short story...it probably doesn't make a difference in our applications...but I happen to like synthetic lubricants.
 

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Good idea t clean the old grease out completely as the different types of additives make certain grease incompatible with each other. Clean it out completely & just pack it with an NLGI #2 grease & you should be good. I recently had to hunt down some NLGI#1 grease for an old Parks finger-shortener, I mean planer. I learned more than I wanted to know about grease.
 

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Bearings start failing at about 170 degrees F. I'm with you Nick. I like synthetics and I used to sell oil at an Esso bulk distributor. Synthetics also stick to gears better than regular grease and have better wear agents in them. I'm not aware of the concerns that Steve raised about using them in a device they weren't made for. One of the big issues with old engines like the 55 Chev he mentioned is that oils were basically non detergent mineral oils back then with no detergent in the oil. To run them to near the end of their life and then start using a high detergent oil in them was said to be bad as it broke loose too many deposits and carbon and or varnish. That shouldn't be an issue in a gear box.

It is a little different with putting synthetic oil in an automatic transmission. They are pretty finicky. If you switch to synthetic for them make sure that oil is specifically recommended for that model transmission.
 

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https://www.bellperformance.com/blog/synthetic-oils-in-classic-cars

Notice that not only classic cars are talked about but also cars pre-1990. Older mechanics who actually worked on old cars will tell you the same. There's no reason to change as the negatives outweigh any possible positives. I'm still waiting to hear the positives. That stuff about longer periods between oil changes with synthetics may have validity until you realize that regular oil changes are the single most important maintenance you can do on a car regardless of what manufacturers' claim.

I can state that changing regular oils every 3-6000 miles is far more beneficial than changing synthethic oils every 10-15000 miles, and with the price difference of the oils just as cost effective.

Of course, the synthetic oil manufacturers and dealers want people to pay those higher prices as there's money to be made in selling you what you don't need and may harm your car.

That's the reason I posted what I did.
Thanks.
Steve
 
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